China’s imports of Russian oil rose 55 percent year on year in May, at a time when Western sanctions were imposed on Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, according to official data published on Monday.
The world’s second largest economy imported 8.42 million tons of oil from Russia, outstripping fuel shipments from Saudi Arabia, usually China’s largest supplier.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping assured Russian President Vladimir Putin of his cooperation on “sovereignty” and “security” issues. Beijing announced significant diplomatic support for Moscow.
Chinese data was published in the week when the conflict in Ukraine will be four months away and when other buyers avoid Russian oil.
The figures represent an increase of 5.44 million tons imported by China compared to May 2021.
State media reported earlier this month that China was ready to “intensify strategic coordination between the two countries.”
The Kremlin announced that the two presidents agreed to increase economic cooperation in the face of “illegal” sanctions imposed by the West.
Western countries adopted unprecedented sanctions against Russia in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. Moscow is looking for new markets and suppliers to replace the foreign companies that have left the country.
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